Guten abend brothers and sisters.
Tonight I’m talking CLOBBERCALM SUPPLY CO. but only in the sense that this evening’s ‘Brand Behind The Menswear’ is somebody we are proud to announce will be stocked with us here at CCSC.
Now, if I am being honest when building my buying list for SUPPLY CO. I decided that as much as I enjoy Jewellery on blokes, I couldn’t prioritise stocking any over all the great brands I was pursuing. That was, of course, until a buddy of mine Tim aka @Denim_Collective put me onto the awesome folks that are Daniel and Sylvia Janssen of the @877Workshop.
(For those who are wondering of course) PANTONE 877 C is the silver base used to blend the ‘conventional’ PANTONE Metallic colors, which have existed since the mid-to-late 1980’s.
And well as a result of Tim’s intervention CCSC will be supplying very cool silver accessories. Cool eh?!
Now as to not make this all about me and the SUPPLY CO. I’m going to jump straight into the feature so we can hear from the 877 duo themselves so they can tell us what it is that makes this tip-top little business tick!
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Daniel Janssen
BRAND NAME: 877 Workshop
POSITION: Design & Production
LOCATION: Hamburg, Germany
SIZE OF TEAM: Casual accessories for men. Hand crafted in high quality.
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Casual accessories for men. Hand crafted in high quality.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company 877 Workshop start out? (For people that don’t already know)
I made an apprenticeship with a master diploma in engravure before studying arts & design. Sylvia and I met during an intaglio printing course in art school working on our portfolios to apply at a design university.
We had luck and were both admitted at the University for Arts & Design in Hamburg. After our diploma we worked together in our design studio in the fields of type design and corporate design. After more than ten years we simply had fun working with our hands again and we started to experiment with the printing techniques we already knew from art school.
We always have been fans of vintage typography, letterpress and other almost forgotten crafts and wanted to create something using vintage machinery and tools. We also discovered the centuries old technique of sand casting – very easy to start with as you do not need a lot of equipment and it has very unique rustic look and feel. We still use it for casting different metal parts like our belt buckles: We fill a mold with sand in which we press our prototype to build a hollow body. After pouring the hot liquid metal into this, the form is burned out and lost and has to be built up again. It’s quite elaborate to make a handful of buckles but the special grainy look is worth it.
We just had fun making things, engraving, printing and casting this and that so we soon had some batches produced and the idea of selling these through an own store came naturally to mind.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
As we sell our goods mostly in the USA, we check the orders which came in over night in the morning. Over the day and the next we manufacture everything in our workshop – we do not have stock items, we make everything to order due to the different sizes and options of customisation we offer. We make all metal parts ourselves – closures, buttons, belt buckles, hooks, rings and pendants. The further processing like braiding bracelets, cutting leather, knotting necklaces and packing parcels follows besides processing new orders from Europe.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Our button bracelet is the oldest and bestselling item. We make this since the beginning. I have turned a lot of buttons on our old squeaking lathe from 1928. I think it is popular because the design is casual and effortless with a special touch through our handcrafted button and waxed canvas color detail.
An other popular product is our Sacred Heart of Jesus Signet Ring. It’s made with two vintage die forms which were hand engraved in Pforzheim around 1905. As we still are interested in vintage manufacturing it’s fun for us to visit industrial heritage museums, fleamarkets and other workshops. So we get in contact with other craftsmen and collectors. From one we bought over 600 steel die forms – a real treasure chest for us to make new things with. The Jesus embossing we used for the ring was originally made to be a devotional pendant. I thinks it is liked of our customers because it is a unique bold piece without being too opulent or bling-bling. The portrait of Jesus touching his heart as a symbol of love seems to appeal to a lot of people regardless if they are believers in god or not.
The third product is our Braided Canvas Bracelet. We forge the hook from solid Sterling Silver – it shows raw traces of hammering and filing. The bracelet is braided from best Scottish waxed canvas. I think what it is liked because it looks laid-back and high quality at the same time.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I love engraving the Zippos – even though it’s very difficult and takes too many hours. I work with a lens in my eye to see the fine engraved lines. I need power in my hand to engrave into the hard metal and there is always a risk to slip off the flat surface and cut in scratches. It is a manual challenge that makes a lot of fun.
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
I think Instagram is a great platform to connect with likeminded people from all over the world on even very rare and special interests. We also have a passion for chain-stitch embroidery – the machines you need have a fascinating mechanics, are very rare and hard to get and we don’t know even one person in Germany who does chain-stitching. But on Instagram we are connected with a lot of colleagues from all over the world.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Yes, regardless of the extreme flood of pictures to get lost in between there is still a chance to get discovered by someone who fancies the same things like us and likes our stuff.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
I follow a lot of feeds of the menswear and denim like yours, @cuffington @3sixteen, @neighborhood_official as well as other craftsmen like print workers, chainstitchers or jewellery designers like @lemnos @dirtyneedleembroidery @hammerpress. I also follow feeds relating to classic cars like @petrolicious, motorcycle builders like @cheetah_4d.studio and surfing like @sebastiansurfs.
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
I have a passion for vintage cars since my early childhood years. My neighbour in my hometown had a nice vintage Triumph which absolutely fascinated me. After getting my driving licence my mom gave me money to buy a used practical VW. I checked the ads of used car dealers and I found a VW – not a small practical one but a nice VW Porsche 914. My mom was pretty angry. I still have this car since 1993. For me cruising around is the best way to relax.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
The best thing is working creative and free on what I like and make a living from that. I can try out and learn everything I am interested in and design new products with the new skills. It’s never boring and makes me really happy designing new things as well as producing the older designs in series.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
For a shirt, I would take my Pukas Surf Shirt – a souvenir from my vacation in San Sebastian, Spain.
For trousers, I would put on Edwin chinos – light and comfy.
For shoes, I would wear Vans slip ons – easy to wear.
For jewellery, it would be my Lucky Seven signet ring – a nice talisman.
For a drink, this would be a bottle of beer – ideal thirst quencher.
Thanks Daniel/Sylvia, awesome you had the time to be on the 10@10 with us and it’s even more awesome that we get to work alongside each other with our companies moving forward. Speak soon dudes 😉
Ok, so I’m guna wrap it up there for the evening, I hope many a fair amount of you have enjoyed getting introduced to the 877 guys! It’s awesome craftsmanship.
Take it easy peeps, enjoy your week and stay close.